United Airlines passenger taking legal action

  • 13/04/2017
United airline protest
Protests erupted at the treatment by United of passenger Dr. David Dao, who is filing for legal action (Getty)

Lawyers for the passenger wrenched from a United Airlines plane have filed an emergency request to require the carrier to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to the now notorious incident.

Citing the risk of 'serious prejudice' to their client, Dr. David Dao, lawyers want United and the city of Chicago, under which O'Hare International Airport is run, to preserve surveillance videos, cockpit voice recordings, passenger and crew lists, and other materials related to the flight.

The incident caused significant furore after footage showed airport security officers yanking a bloodied Mr Dao from his seat aboard the overbooked flight, and dragging the paying passenger by his hands on his back off the plane.

The backlash from the incident had global resonance, with social media users in the United States, China and Vietnam calling for boycotts of the airline, and an end to the practice of overbooking flights.

The legal filing will likely preface a lawsuit against United for the incident.

United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said the company would no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights after the outrage at the way Dao had been treated by airline and airport security staff.

As of Wednesday (local time) Mr Dao was still in a Chicago hospital recovering from his injuries.